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4 Property Maintenance Projects You Can Tackle Yourself

By crossroadsp2443513, Aug 18 2017 07:15PM

Thanks to YouTube, Pinterest and blogs like this, you too can DIY a few maintenance projects at your property. What we can’t vouch for is that you will not look disheveled or feel a little achy after taking on these projects. Real life maintenance work looks less like HGTV and a little more like those late-night infomercials. You know that ones? People seem to constantly spill or break things and then shake their heads and pout at the camera as it pans in on their despair. And while we can’t promise repairs will go very smoothly, we believe you may complete your work feeling a sense of pride and excitement over having saved some money in the process. If that’s not the case, perhaps you’ll just have a better appreciation for what professional maintenance repairmen do.

But before we potentially discourage any further, here are 4 home repairs you should at least know how to fix should you want to do it yourself.

1.Prep, Paint, Presto.

Since we recently wrote about this in a previous blog, we won’t get too deep into this. What you’ll need to know is that whether you’re planning to paint a whole room or cover a few nail holes, you must start by removing any fixtures or hardware that may get in the way. You really don’t want to skip over this step. Trust us on this. Then you’ll want to clean what you’re going to paint with a damp sponge or a dry cloth to avoid having streaks caused by dust or grease. Any nail holes and gouges will need to be filled with spackle. And finally, it’s time to apply paint primer to your walls.

2. Fix those creaky doors.

Is your toddler a light sleeper? Then you’ll want to fix creaky doors pronto. First thing is first. Check the door to make sure there aren't any loose hinge screws or deteriorated hinges. Tighten loose screws by first placing a door wedge on the latch end of the door to balance the weight. If the screws look fine but the door still meets resistance when it closes, try to see where the tight spots are. If a door starts sticking only during humid months or during the rainy season, it may need to be planed.

To plane the door, you'll need a special carpenter's plane which will scrape a small layer of wood off the door's edge. Draw a line along the door at the spot where it's hitting the jamb. If the tight spot is located at the top of the door or on the handle end, you can plane the door without taking it off its hinges. If the tight spot is on the hinge end or bottom of the door, tap out the hinge pins with a hammer and set the door on its side to plane it.

Sticking doors can also cause squeaks because they put extra pressure on the hinges, which can get noisy when they begin to oxidize. You might be able to get rid of the noise with a little lubricant. Cover the area under the door with a cloth before you apply oil to the hinges. After applying a few drops, open and close the door to work lubricant into the moving parts of the hinge. Give it a couple of minutes, and try opening and closing the door one more time. If there's still a squeak, apply a few more drops.

3. Re-caulk your bathroom.

Inspect your bathroom to see if you need to re-caulk the tub, shower or the wall, or between your toilet's outer rim and the floor. Caulking seals the floors and walls from moisture and glues itself in place. But since over time, caulk can discolor or deteriorate, this can leave your home vulnerable to water damage and mold.

That’s why you may have to remove the residue left from the old caulk. Otherwise the new bead won't stick. You can use a putty knife to caulk residue and once it is gone, you must clean the area with paint thinner and let it dry completely before the next step.

Using a caulking gun or standard tube caulk, cut the cone-shaped tip of the caulk cap on an angle and at a diameter that's large enough to accommodate the widest gap in your project. You can also consider using caulk strips that you simply unroll and press into place.

4.Take care of that leaky faucet.

This is one of the most common household repairs. It is definitely a nuisance that can hike up your water bill if not repaired. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average home wastes about 11,000 gallons of water every year due to leaks and drips.

If you want to stop a leaky faucet, you can start by shutting off the water to the faucet. There's usually a shutoff valve nearby. If not, you can temporarily shut off the water to the entire house, which can be found in the basement or laundry room, and turn it back on again later.

Since compression-type faucets are fairly common, we'll tell you how to replace washers on that faucet style. Unscrew the faucet handle and remove it. The screw may be hiding under a decorative metal or plastic cap, or even at the back of the handle. Then remove the packing nut using pliers. Unscrew the valve stem and remove it. Once you’ve done that, take out the screw that holds the washer in place. If the washer's been in there awhile, you may need penetrating oil to loosen the screw.

Remove the washer and examine it. If it hasn't deteriorated too much, you can use it to help you find the right replacement for it. If the washer fell apart when you removed it, you may have to check the valve-body to see the size washer you're looking for. Make sure to check the valve seat at the bottom of the valve body to determine whether the washer fits into a space with straight or angled walls. If you know your faucet make and model, you'll be able to find the right washer.

Get a replacement washer at your home improvement retailer, which carries generic washer kits that include dozens of washers in different shapes and sizes – a helpful tool for future projects. And finally you can head back home to put it back together. Just reverse the steps you took to remove the old one.

Now we could have added toilet maintenance work as a number 5 DIY project but sometimes there are certain things we think you shouldn’t bother yourselves with. Toilet repairs can be a bit of nightmare even once you get passed the fact that you’re working on a toilet.

And if you really rather just tackle two of the four projects or none of the projects we provided tips for so you can enjoy your Saturday, we are here for you. We get it. Weekends come and go way to quickly so you want to spend the time wisely. Call Crossroads Property Services at 706-352-5678.

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